Seismic activity leaves parts of Philippines desolate
TAGAYTAY, PHILIPPINES - Residents of Tagaytay, a popular holiday town in the Philippines, have left their homes behind due to seismic activity that's caused a slow, but dangerous eruption of a nearby volcano.
It's been three days since Taal Volcano, which is located on an island just 40 miles south of Manila, began spewing ash, dust, and filling the air with poisonous sulfur dioxide.
Since Sunday, thousands of residents have been forced to abandon their homes and flee the area.
NPR reports that nearly everything locals left behind is now destroyed. Not only are livestock and homes covered in thick layers of ash, but the area is experiencing hundreds of dangerous tremors due to seismic activity.
WATCH: A group of volunteers brave the danger zone around Taal Volcano to rescue pets and other animals left behind by residents when they evacuated— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) January 15, 2020
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On Tuesday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS) explained, "For the past 24 hours, Taal Volcano's activity has been characterized by continuous, but generally weaker of the main crater due to magmatic and hydrovolcanic processes."
"Such intense seismic activity probably signifies continuous magmatic intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity."
For most, the key phrase in PHILVOLC's explanation is "which may lead to further eruptive activity."
Officials worry that even worse tremors and eruptions are in store for the area.
On Monday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said, "The worst-case scenario is that the volcano will blow up like Mount Pinatubo. That's what we're fearing."
The defense secretary is referring to the June 15, 1991 eruption of Pinatubo, which was the second-largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century.
Earthquakes and volcanos are not uncommon for the Philippines due to its location in an area of increased seismic and volcanic activity known as the 'Ring of Fire.'
This area forms a rough circle around the Pacific Ocean where several tectonic plates come together.
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